MPs to debate absentee MPs’ report after Bagbin’s clearance
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has given clearance for a report from the Privileges Committee on three absentee Members of Parliament to be tabled and discussed in the House.
Mr. Bagbin, on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, dismissed attempts for the Speaker to declare some of the seats vacant without a formal debate of the Privileges Committee’s report.
In his ruling, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin said, “the preliminary objection for the admissibility of the report is hereby dismissed in limine.”
The three members – Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin Central, Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso West, and Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome Kwabenya – were referred to the Privileges Committee for absenting themselves from Parliament beyond the permissible period without any reason.
While Kennedy Agyapong and Henry Quartey appeared before the committee and attributed their absence to ill health, Adwoa Safo failed to honour the summons.
She attributed her long absence from Parliament to family issues, saying, among other things, that her son was unwell.
She was recently sacked by the President from her portfolio as Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Prior to Parliament’s recess in July 2022, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu had, among other things, insisted that the Privileges Committee’s report should not be subject to debate in the House.
This request was however rejected by the Speaker of Parliament.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu vehemently disagreed with the ruling adding that it is injurious to Parliamentary business.
“I totally disagree with the ruling. It doesn’t sit with the constitution and I must express my discomfort with this unfortunate ruling that has been made because it is very inconsistent. We will come back with a substantive motion to challenge the ruling”, Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said on the floor right after the ruling.”
By Edna Agnes Boakye